Saturday, January 29, 2011

W. J. Washburn -- 4000 Pasadena Avenue

In 1910, 4000 Pasadena Avenue looked like a quiet country area. Just three miles north of downtown nestled in Arroyo Seco canyon, William J. Washburn (1852-1931) and his wife Helen had already lived here more than ten years.

4000 Pasadena Avenue in 1910

W J Washburn ca. 1910
William was a successful banker in Los Angeles, moving here in 1889 from St. Louis, where he'd met Helen while in business with his father. In fact, his parents moved also to L.A. in the 1890's, and after his father's death, his mother Jennie resided in this household. It was also in this past decade that William had served for eight years on the Board of Education, as well as serving with the Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles City Council.

But later that year the family moved to their new residence in a more fashionable new neighborhood, settling at 2200 S. Harvard Boulevard, in the West Adams district. They remained there until Helen's death in 1932, followed by William's in 1935. Both are buried with William's parents in the Washburn plot at Evergreen Cemetery, one of Los Angeles' oldest.

And what happened to the house on Pasadena Avenue?  By 1915 it became the Page Preparatory Academy, with Mrs. Minnie Bennett in charge. Later the street was renamed to Figueroa and the large property today has become a car wash.

4000 Figueroa today
(courtesy of Google Maps)

And below is a photo of the Los Angeles Board of Education taken ca. 1898. William Washburn, representing the 1st Ward, is at lower left.

left to right, top, William Chambers, H. L. Jones, Charles Udell, J. W. Hendrick, R. L. Horton, W. J. Washburn, Dr. William H. Stearns, William Wincup, Charles C. Davis.

(image courtesy of
Old Homes of Los Angeles

Short bio of Mr. Washburn (1915)

Monday, January 24, 2011

George Ira Cochran -- 2249 S. Harvard

Born near Toronto, Canada, in 1863, George I. Cochran grew up spending six years (1873 - 1879) in Japan with his parents. Upon his return, he entered Toronto University, becoming an attorney and practicing law. In March, 1888 he came to Los Angeles where he again took up law. In the financial panic of 1893 he became involved with banking organizations, which led him to organize and incorporate the Broadway Bank and Trust Company, which had offices in the Bradbury Building downtown. From there he became part of the forming of the Conservative Life Insurance Company, joining major investor Frederick Rindge.
Cochran's father, after a second mission to Japan, came to live in Southern California to recuperate. He was named Dean of the Liberal Arts college at USC, followed by Acting President in 1893.

Cochran the son was also heavily into real estate. Below is a full-page ad for Pacoima in 1905 in the Los Angeles Herald. George was so proud he put his name in the "Your Investment is Guaranteed" box.

He was also invested in a new West Adams subdivision, where he had a large home built for him around 1903 at 2249 S. Harvard. Interestingly, in the photo of his house below, the house that is visible in the left background belonged to Frederick Rindge.

2249 South Harvard Blvd. in 1908

Upon Rindge's untimely death as President of Conservative Life, Cochran moved into the Vice President's position, following Wilbur S. Tupper, another director and investor in the company, who became President. In 1906 Conservative Life merged with Pacific Life Mutual (founded by Leland Stanford), and after a brief scandal involving Mr. Tupper and a "Los Angeles woman", Cochran became President of Pacific Life Mutual.

Today both the Rindge and Cochran houses still stand. The Cochran house is owned by the First African Methodist Episcopal Church located across the street, and is used for receptions and Sunday School classes.

2249 South Harvard Today
(courtesy of the author)

And another of the businesses Cochran was involved in?  The Rosedale Cemetery, where he was interred upon his death in 1949.

A little-known fact about George Cochran--while in Toronto he was good friends with Arthur Letts, and helped convince Letts to move to L.A. from Seattle, where he had been struggling in the retail business. Cochran then co-signed Letts' original $5,000 loan from a Los Angeles bank, which allowed Letts to start Broadway (and Bullock's) department stores.

Old Homes of Los Angeles

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wilson C. Patterson -- 1436 South Flower

In 1909 South Flower Street was home to single family residences, rather than the commercial district we see today. Here's a view of one of those houses circa 1910:

1436 So. Flower Street was the home of Wilson Campbell Patterson and his wife Virginia. They had come to L.A. in 1888 from Chillicothe, Ohio, when Wilson's health broke down. Their two daughters Ada and Hazel came too, and by 1912 had married Harry Callender and John Stuart, respectively.

In November, 1898 Wilson was elected President, L.A. National Bank until its consolidation with First National Bank, when he was made Vice President of the new bank, a position he held until his death. He also served on the L.A. Board of Education.

A view of the same place today (courtesy of Google Maps):

View Larger Map

By 1912 with his health continuing to fail, Patterson embarked on a trip to the Far East hoping to restore his health. He died while on the journey.

(The photo at right is circa 1910).

Old Homes of Los Angeles

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mrs. Frederick Rindge -- 2263 South Harvard Blvd.

Updated 3/7/2017

Built around 1903, the Rindge Mansion was created for the Frederick Rindge family. Frederick and his wife Rhoda Mae came to Los Angeles in 1887, first settling in Santa Monica. After purchasing the land grant Malibu-Topanga Ranch, the family spent most of the time there until the house burned down in 1903.
Rindge Monument at

Frederick was an only son who inherited a fortune from his Massachusetts parents. Unfortunately, he was to pass away soon after moving to the new mansion. He died in Yreka in 1905 while on vacation/business with his family. The Los Angeles Herald reported his death extensively. He is buried in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery.

The home at 2263 S. Harvard Boulevard still exists today as a well-kept single family home, a city-recognized Historic Landmark, and a listing on the National Register.

Below--the house in 1910.

At the time it was still the main house for Rhoda Mae, her three children Samuel, Frederick Jr., and Rhoda Agatha, along with multiple servants and chauffeur. They were later to move back to Malibu almost full-time, and daughter Rhoda eventually took over the Malibu venue, upon her mother's passing. You may notice that Adohr  is Rhoda spelled backwards--which brings fond memories to many Southern Californians of the 20th century.

Today at 2263 South Harvard
(courtesy of the author)

Hats off to Floyd Bariscale who has taken the time to do the first 240 landmarks in Los Angeles. Here's what he had to say about the Rindge Mansion.

Old Homes of Los Angeles

Monday, January 3, 2011

Russell Judson Waters--900 West Adams Street

Updated 11/20/2016
Born in Vermont in 1843, Russell Judson Waters (1843-1911) became a practicing lawyer in Illinois until 1886, when he moved to southern California, founding the city of Redlands. For many years he was city attorney there. In 1894 he moved to Los Angeles, and was elected to Congress in 1898. He was President of Citizens National Bank, and the State Bank of San Jacinto, as well as President of Home Savings Bank. In an article for the Los Angeles Herald in 1910, the Citizens National Bank Board of Directors read like a who's who of West Adams, including J. Ross Clark, E.L. Doheny, J.J. Fay, Jr., and of course R.J. Waters.

In 1910 Waters lived here at 900 W. Adams St.
Waters' photo in the L.A. Herald

In the house with him when the census taker arrived were his second wife, Maude,
whom he married in 1905, along with daughters Mable, Florence, and Myrtle. Maude was three years younger than Arthur Waters, L.A. banker, and Russell's only son. It was a first marriage for Maude. By 1911 she was President of the California Federation of Women, and was touring near Placerville when Russell died of a lingering illness on Sept. 25 of that year. He is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Located next door to the 2nd Church of Christ Scientist at 946 W. Adams, the house was still extant in 1956. Today the church survives, but sadly this mansion did not. Before it was torn down, however, it was featured in the 1940's movie "Curse of the Cat People". 

Here is a view looking towards the front door in the mid 1940's, and an additional earlier photo of the house is posted below--note the large stone step for dismounting from a horse carriage.

The House in 1904 (courtesy of Men of Achievement in the Great Southwest)

Old Homes of Los Angeles